SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 08: Matthew Lodge of the Broncos looks on during the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos at UOW Jubilee Oval on March 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Controversial Brisbane Broncos forward Matt Lodge will have his contract torn up by the NRL unless he comes up with a payment plan to pay back the victims of his New York rampage.

The NRL ignited outrage from many after they allowed the much-publicised Lodge to return to the game this season, with plenty believing his return has damaged the game.

After much public backlash, the NRL is now demanding Lodge pay back the $1.6 million in damages from his US rampage in 2015.

Compensating the victims will now be Lodge’s priority, with a payment plan to be set out by the NRL.

It won’t come without its difficulties though, Lodge is on a minimum wage of $100,000 and his value needs to increase if he were to fast-track the costs.

“The victims can’t get compensation if he’s not working,” ARL chairman Peter Beattie said.

“I’ve read all of it, I’ve seen his denials. All of this was years ago, all of this was taken into account when this evaluation was being made.

“[NRL chief executive] Todd [Greenberg] has made the right decision because we’re giving him another chance. If he simply gets thrown on the scrapheap, he will never pay compensation back to that family. At the end of it all, we expect him to do that.

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“This could have been explained a lot better than it has been. What he did, what programs he went through should have been explained a lot better.

“In future … we will set in place much better communication strategy. This was never going to be a popular decision.”


  1. Lodge should stand his ground here, the NRL have no right to impose this , that court in America is a civil action and legally has no bearing, he has not broken any laws by not complying with this decision, the NRL have already given him a clearance to play they cannot reverse this cause he has not paid the civil claim, the precedent of this action is not good.

    • Are you for real? What rock did you crawl out from under? Hasn’t broken any laws – you mean other than violent assault and committing a home invasion. He was found guilty in a court of law and ordered to pay damages. It’s not as though he was found guilty in some third world dump like South Africa or Zimbabwe. In case you missed it penso the US court system, whilst not perfect, is functional. As for the NRLs involvement, they absolutely have the right to enforce this as it directly relates to their image and how they are portrayed. Honestly that’s the dumbest statement I’ve seen on this site in ages (and considering the amount of Cronulla fans who comment on this site, that’s a pretty big achievement)

      • Dumb statement? Did you even read Pensos comment? Of course Lodge should pay his fine but can you outline the Act or Legislation that enables the NRL to enforce a penalty given in a foreign court? The NRL can cancel his contract for multitude of reasons but they they cannot make him pay one cent.

        • Ballknocker you’re just as dumb as penso, think about what you just said in your last sentence. Of course they can make him pay, it’s pay up or they cancel his contract and kick him out of the sport. Pretty simple. And the NRL absolutely has the right to force him to do it seeing that directly related to the sport’s image and reputation. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was stipulated when they allowed him to return.

        • I am not going to bother. You don’t even understand the argument Penso is making. You are out of your depth and as a result you act like a petulant child.

        • I think you’re the one out of their depth ballknocker. I perfectly understand penso’s argument, I just disagree with it. It’s obvious the NRL can force Lodge to pay because that’s what they’re doing. If there was no legal basis for it, don’t you think Lodge’s legal team would be jumping up and down like a bunch of bulldogs fans after a controversial loss. Like I said, the league probably made it a stipulation before they allowed him to be registered. Like penso mate, you shouldn’t think too hard, you don’t want to hurt yourself.

        • You don’t understand the argument. There is a distinct difference between applying pressure, threats and actually enforcing payment.

          If you keep insulting people and act like a child people will stop engaging with you, like many others before you. Maybe something to think about.

        • And you obviously missed the obvious, the league would not have let I’m back in without an assurance he would pay up. Given Lodge’s abysmal record of behaviour it’s impossible to think otherwise. Like I said, don’t think to hard.

        • That isn’t obvious. In fact, if anything, they seemed as if they were caught with their pants down.

          The way the NRL have acted on this subject tends to suggest they may not have sought assurances on that. They only really reacted to this when the media made it a big thing (and slowly, too).

          However, they need not seek assurances. They can cancel a player’s registration any time they like.

  2. I still can’t believe that the NRL allowed this pathetic excuse of a man back to play our game. Great message we’re putting out there to the public….

    I’m all for giving people a second chance to redeem themselves, but that’s only after they’ve paid for their crime. This scum got off scott free, blows the mind really.

    • I agree the Lodge is a disgrace, but how’s he going to pay for his crime if he can’t earn gotheeels? The family themselves said they don’t want him banned from playing (obviously so he can pay them the damages, but hey the court said that’s what they’re entitled to).

      • @BrissyDragon, by “pay for his crime”, I don’t mean financially paying out his victims. What I meant by that was that he should have been put behind bars for a couple of years for the pain he inflicted on his victims. That is the real way that a criminal pays for his/her crime, which is much worse than having to take a hit financially.

        • I get what you’re saying mate and I agree, he should have gone to the can. But that’s the legal system in the country where he committed the crime and its their rules. Same as do drug in Australia, get a slap on the wrist. Do it in Bali get the death penalty. And at the end of the day it’s what the people most affected – the family he menaced – wanted. What people need to realise here is that there is no perfect solution here. This is the only way that family is going to get any recompense. For all the crap things Lodge has done – this, slapping around his ex, the time he and his moron BFF fatfita threatened a junior ref, the armband profanities and god knows what else, I’d love to see him banished.

  3. Lodge should not have had his contract registered by the NRL and should have been subject to a life ban for his reckless assault conviction. The same should have applied to Russell Packer (assault causing actual bodily harm) and Kirisome Auva’a (2 x domestic violence convictions).

  4. The NRL should garnish a percentage of is income to save face for allowing this criminal woman bashing drunk to play in our so called children and woman friendly NRL competition. If they don’t then, they the NRL are telling the children its alright that your role model favourite players, can harm the innocent. However the NRL allow this nutter back after two years yet a bloke who does the “Bubbler” is banned for life. ⚰

    • I am not a Mathew Lodge supporter, far from it, but the NRL cannot impose this after they allowed him back, American civil court system is far more removed and forgiving than our courts, the NRL should have considered this before allowing him to come back.

      • That’s great logic peniso, and how is the guy meant to pay the family the damages that he owes them if the league didn’t allow him back and give him the ability to earn. Don’t think too hard penso, you might hurt yourself.

        • I agree with Penso on this one.

          I’m not supporting Lodge, far from it, nor am I commenting on whether the NRL should have let him play again, although I don’t think they should have, but deciding (after allowing him to play) to impose conditions is wrong.

          As for the U.S legal system, it’s obviously not “third world”, but that doesn’t make it right. In my opinion this sort of “justice” is nothing short of a joke. No “criminal” justice as such, just pay “compensation” based on your “potential earning capacity”. Now that’s capitalism. Why do the victims deserve $1.5 mil, and not $10k or $10mil? Why, because the Lawyer will only get his/her cut from what is actually paid, hence make it at the highest end of what is likely to be achievable. Oh, and let’s call that “justice”.

        • Brissydragon, your missing my point in all of this but could not be bothered trying to explain to you both the legal part or the NRL decision to someone with limited intelligence , at lease Tommyknocker and eelsalmighty understand where i was going with this, thank goodness their are still some intelligent people still on this site

        • Hahahaha, don’t make me laugh princess. You’re argument was faulty from the start. I argue with people for a living and most if not all of them have more brains and commonsense than you and that idiot ballknocker. What you mouth breathers all fail to understand is that would have been one of the pre-conditions of him being registered.

        • Argue for a living? You DO know arguing with Centrelink over the size of your “ entitlements” isn’t a real job…Don’t you?

          Your condensending, rude and poorly though out comments are very revealing.

        • Brissydragon, you sound very familiar to a previous women who posted on here so why the new name? bit afraid of not getting respect with the old profile?

        • Hahaha, you two are hilarious. For info ballknocker I’ve never been within 100 meters of a Centrelink. I’ve spent the last 18 years in the army, doing what is not your concern. If you find me condescending that probably says more about you than me.
          As for you peniso, I’ve been on this site since 2010 which I dare say is longer than you and your boyfriend combined.
          Since the pair of you however sound as though neither has had anything more than an 8th grade education, I’ll spell it out nice and slow for you both.
          FACT- Lodge committed a crime. Whatever you, I or anyone else thinks of the punishment is irrelevant as he agreed to it.
          FACT – The league would have never let him back in if he didn’t have a plan to pay the money he owes the victims. NRL management can be pretty inept at times but I doubt they would have screwed this one up.
          FACT – Lodge’s legal team hasn’t said boo about this. If this wasn’t legal don’t you think they would jumping up and down by now.
          FACT – Same same the RLPA who are the first to complain whenever they think a player has been wronged.

          So if you two social justice warriors can come up with some logical points to argue those ones, I’d like to hear it.

        • IF you had been around as long as you claim you would know that I also have been around since the beginning.

          Your arguement is once again flawed. Other than “fact” 1, the other so called facts are actually assumptions. The very manner in which you constructed your sentences reveal this. Your assumptions may prove to be correct in time but are currently only assumptions. There is a difference

          You know being a keyboard warrior doesn’t mean you are in the real army..don’t you?

          I am not bothering anymore. As the late great George Carlin once said. “Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”

        • Don’t waste your time trying to convince those blokes Brissydragon. Like the great WoodChook said. ” You can’t put brains in statues”.

        • Nice try again ballknocker, you can think what you want and keep on keep on denying those facts, but to me that sounds like the musings of someone who knows they’ve lost and argument.

      • @penso: Why is it that, every time someone upsets you, you refer to a “women” who once posted on ZT?

        I presume you mean me in this instance & not Panther17(?)

        FYI, I haven’t ditched my username & I don’t lose sleep over what you refer to as “respect” around here.

        FYI(2), brissydragon is 100% right. Can’t claim the credit for that though. NRL can determine ANYTHING it likes as “damaging the game.”

        • Wow, commonsense. Careful there Danielle. You don’t want to confuse penso by saying something that makes sense. It might overload his ability to think.

        • Haha! Love your work, Brissydragon. I also love the keyboard expert position on contractual law. They tend to ignore the over-riding statements which pretty much add up to: “Do ANYTHING we don’t like & you are GONE…see clause….”

    • what about zane tetevano wood chook? i assume you think he should be kicked out of the game too considering what he did was 10x worse.

      • Broncossimplyabunchofdonkies The NRL Integrity Unit confirmed they had rubber-stamped Tetevano’s NRL return following his assault conviction, saying he had spent two years out of the game and had met all rehabilitation requirements set for him.

        You do have a point, however you exaggerate when you claim it to be 10 times worse. Tetevano had to answer to charges as did Lodge towards the one innocent party. Lodge unlike Tetevano did not get cured the first time around and went on his second rampage in the USA becoming a repeat offender effecting a father, mother and their child.

        • Tetrvano was processed as a convicted criminal within the criminal justice system.

          Lodge wasn’t. That’s precisely why the outrage. Is it that hard to comprehend???

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